Making Piñatas

by Amy on October 7, 2010

making papier mache pinatas with kids

A few weeks ago, the girls and I were learning about Mexico and read a neat book called The Piñata Maker. So, of course, we had to make our own piñatas!

We made some papier-mâché paste using this recipe from Family Fun. I can’t believe I have never made this type of paste before – all you need is flour, water, and sugar. It’s so easy to make and lovely and smooth to work with. (And way better than using liquid starch like I have done in the past!)

After the paste cooled, we were ready to get messy! We made simple round piñatas using balloons. You will see that we started with our balloons balanced on cups, but we ended up switching to bowls because the balloons become very hard to balance when they have the weight of dripping newspaper strips on them.

The girls dipped a strip of newspaper in the paste and slid their fingers down the strip to remove some of the excess. Keep applying strips till the whole balloon is covered, except for the area around the knot.

At one point, Delaney had so much paste on her hands that she could just rub the strips between her hands and apply!

The girls did approximately three layers of newspaper – we weren’t too concerned with sturdiness since these were just for one person, not a whole party full of kids.

We set our very wet piñatas to dry in the sun. As you can see, we had plenty of paste leftover for playing!

I gave the girls the choice of painting or using colored tissue paper to decorate their piñatas.  They decided to paint them – we used acrylic craft paint for better coverage.

The girls also painted a piece of newspaper to use for covering the hole. The paint dried and details were added with construction paper (taped on) and black sharpies.

We popped the balloons and held on to the knot end tightly as the balloon pulled away from the inside of the piñata.  Filling with candy was next!

We covered the hole with our piece of painted newspaper – it wasn’t the prettiest way to cover the hole, but it served our purpose.

We used a paper clip and yarn to hang the pinñatas.  Natalie wasted no time in smashing her piñata and getting her candy out.

Delaney wasn’t sure she wanted to hit her cute piggy. I told her we could just dump the candy out of the hole, but she decided to go ahead and get her candy out the traditional piñata way – hitting and more hitting!

Our simple piñatas were such a success, we would all like to do more papier-mâché projects – maybe bowls or puppets or birds?

I’m pretty sure my girls wouldn’t complain if I just made them a big batch of paste to play with, too. :)

Do you celebrate birthdays with a purchased or homemade piñata? Have you and your kids made anything fun with papier-mâché?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jimmie October 9, 2010 at 1:52 am

Hi! I saw you over at Simple Kids. One year we made a paper mache reindeer with newspaper, a paper cup, etc. It was so cute. It’s still in our holiday decorations. I love looking back on those preschool crafts now that my daughter is eleven.

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karen October 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Super Cool!

Karen
Sippy Cup Central Mom

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aly in va October 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

love the idea, we’d (or should I say- I) would have a hard time destroying the lovely work though.

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